Market review and study of success characteristics in construction companies: Case:United States

Jaana Koota

Research output: Book/ReportReport

2 Citations (Scopus)


As a market area, the United States is a mature, highly developed, industrial nation with one of the highest real per capita levels of any country in the world. With a relatively decentralized, market-oriented economy, businesses have considerable flexibility to expand capital plant, lay off surplus workers, and develop new products. In 2000 the Gross Domestic Product in the United States was about $9,963 billion, which was about 1.3-times higher than in Western Europe (OECD Europe) and about 85-times GDP in Finland. Total value of construction was about $815 billion in 2000. Western Europe is on a par with the United States for the value of the construction. Compared to Finland, the value of construction in the United States is about 50-times the value in Finland. The residential construction portion in the U.S was 46 %, or $379 billion, while non-residential totalled near $292 billion, or 36 % of the total figure. Civil engineering was $144 billion or approximately 18 % of total value. Residential construction can be divided into new construction and renovation and improvements of housing buildings. The value of the new residential construction was $269 billion, while the estimated value of the renovation and improvements was $110 billion in 2000. With globalization, understanding different business concepts becomes more and more relevant. If European companies want success in their cooperation and customer relations with U.S. companies, they have to be flexible in their ways of working and understand cultural differences in business. Therefore it is essential to realize which factors are important for success: Importance of diversified business mix, client focus (diversifying the practice/market sectors), business orientation, and willingness to change. In this study, information of success characteristics in the construction industry is mainly based on interviews in selected U.S. companies and experts at Texas A&M University, Department of Construction Science. Information was collected from seven companies, whose fields of activities covered industrial construction, residential construction, HVAC services and design and planning. The success characteristics that are presented in this report are common for most of these case companies. These include, among others: differentiation, alliances and partnerships, safety performance and labour relations.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationEspoo
PublisherVTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
Number of pages50
ISBN (Electronic)951-38-6142-2
ISBN (Print)951-38-6141-4
Publication statusPublished - 2003
MoE publication typeNot Eligible

Publication series

SeriesVTT Tiedotteita - Meddelanden - Research Notes


  • construction
  • companies
  • enterprices
  • market review
  • USA
  • United States
  • business environment
  • economics


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